The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This is a review of the exhibition of modern Mexican art that the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes [INBA, National Institute of Fine Arts] sent to Bordeaux, France; it was subsequently shown in Paris and Milan, Italy. Jaime Torres Bodet, the Mexican ambassador, was at the opening of the show, which featured fifty paintings and a hundred prints. The review is largely a negative assessment of INBA’s selection, in which David Alfaro Siqueiros is represented entirely by lithographs and there is just one “light” painting by Diego Rivera. The reviewer rejects the Mexican art that “seeks to express a social message based on local types and modes.”
It is not clear who is writing under the nom de plume Albert Michot, but in this review he attempts to defend the artists involved in the so-called “ruptura movement,” the young artists who have distanced themselves from the figurative and narrative style of the Escuela Mexicana de Pintura [Mexican School of painting]. The members of this group—Raúl Anguiano (1915-2006), Francisco Dosamantes, and José Chávez Morado (1909-2002), among others—are also criticized for their “old fashioned technique,” and are described as “naïve and still academic, with no flavor other than exoticism.” At times the reviewer is scathing: “Instead of the boring Yankee from Mexico, [Pablo] O’Higgins, we would have preferred the Guatemalan [Carlos] Mérida. [José Luis] Cuevas is missing.” At the time of this review, the INBA was also preparing the I Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado [First Inter-American Biennial of Paintings and Prints], an event that was aggressively criticized by artists since it would cater exclusively to those who were enrolled at the “official school” and would discriminate against those who were not.